For the record

by Ranger Pieter van Wyk

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Sightings map

MalaMala Game Reserve

is one of the few reserves on the continent that not only records what our guests are seeing on safari but also publishes those records. In fact, I am personally unaware of any other reserve that does. I do not mean for this to come across with any undertone of arrogance but rather more… matter-of-fact. Our primary reason for collecting this information is that it allows our rangers to have a better understanding of the wildlife in this area. We also claim to have some of the best game viewing in Africa and we back that up with statistics. Our records focus mainly on the more prominent species such as the big five (excluding rhinos for security reasons), cheetahs and Cape hunting dogs as well as some of the rarer creatures like sable antelope and pangolins. These records come in the form of daily updates on social media and in our more in-depth monthly game reports which can be found on our website. We also publish annual ‘nutshell’ statistics and you can find 2019’s in the attached image. Sightings tallies of lions, leopards, elephant, buffaloes and cheetahs all surpassed those of 2018 and sightings of sable antelope and pangolins virtually doubled. We also keep track of the weather – both rainfall and temperature statistics remained consistent. Perhaps most importantly, these records help to remind us of how fortunate we are to call this reserve home. There aren’t many other places out there who can claim that they viewed ten prides of lions and six male coalitions in a year, or that in one month they recorded 128 sightings of leopards or viewed 34 different individuals! We averaged almost four sightings of Cape hunting dogs every week and saw 45 different individuals in one month. These numbers truly are remarkable yet MalaMala delivers them year after year. It’s all about the wildlife.

Travelling to MalaMala